The proposals for a High Speed Rail 3 (HS3) link between Manchester and Leeds should be welcomed. The announcement could be taken to suggest that finally (if somewhat belatedly) Westminster has realised that non-road related transport infrastructure needs to be seriously invested in. While I recognise the importance of the proposed HS3 link in the north of England, however it is spun, it is yet another example of a large scale all England infrastructure project, once more our country runs the risk of being left behind.
HS3 will take any alleged benefits for Wales from HS2 even further out of reach. Our railways are in desperate need of electrification and have been for decades, yet the UK government happy to force Welsh taxpayers to foot part of the bill for the England-only HS2 project which is expected to cost anywhere between £40-80 billion pounds. Rather than relying on cross-border links to get from one end of our country to another, Plaid Cymru wants to see a country-wide approach to transport investment where people can travel all around Wales with ease.
Plaid has actively campaigned for the electrification of the Great Western mainline, the North Wales Main Line, and the valley lines, yet both Labour and Tory governments have made minimally slow progress. Our country needs a transport infrastructure that is fit-for-purpose - this is vital to create jobs and to help our economy grow. It is ludicrous that the HS3 project, if goes ahead, is being labeled as an UK-wide project when it will clearly not benefit Wales. Wales should receive its fair share of investment in our own transport system so we get Wales moving again.